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New approach for NI pharmacists as CPhO appointed

Csthy Harrison pictured with Andrew Lane, Gerard Greene and Mark Lyonette

Pharmacists should focus on what they do best and make the most of their medicines expertise, Northern Ireland's new chief pharmaceutical officer Cathy Harrison has said in her first public speech since her permanent appointment earlier this month.

Speaking at an NPA reception in Belfast last week, Cathy Harrison said pharmacists' skills are “increasingly in demand,” but that “pharmacy cannot be the answer to every question” and urged her audience to focus on what they do best and make the most of their medicines expertise.

Speaking after the new CPhO, Gerard Greene, chief executive of Community Pharmacy Northern Ireland (second left), said “2020 heralds not only a new year but also a new decade, a new approach”. Community pharmacy is “intent on making significant in-roads into the public health, medicines optimisation and transformation agendas," Mr Greene said.

NPA acting chair Andrew Lane praised both guest speakers for maintaining a constructive dialogue through trying times, noting pressures on workforce and finances. Co-host NPA treasurer Michael Guerin said he now looked forward to progress in relation to the long-stalled community pharmacy contract in Northern Ireland.

The Northern Ireland Assembly reopened on January 11 almost three years to the day after it shut down, after all five main parties agreed to establish a new powersharing government.

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